But, says Marge Berer, editor of the medical journal Reproductive Health Matters, these procedures, which are aimed at “beautifying” the labia, are tantamount to female genital mutilation – the shockingly primitive surgery performed on women in places like Africa and the Middle East for religious and cultural reasons. Hysterical overstatement? Berer says no.
This Marie Claire opinion piece is pretty laughable. The idea that elective surgery (in this case conservative reduction labiaplasty) aimed (and often succeeding) at enhancing a woman’s sexual experience and/or alleviating discomfort should be equated to female genital mutilation (FGM,) a procedure that does the opposite can only be a joke. I will not argue that elective female genital surgery is performed in a multitude of different ways in different hands and some are (in my opinion) too invasive and maybe even dangerous. But the Fem Nazi types who promote the extreme hyperbole of equating any female genital operation with the butchery of FGM merely provide diametrically opposed contrast to the real mutilating that occurs in the Middle East and Africa. As is typical of extremes, neither of these two radical viewpoints is reasonable.
John Di Saia MD